Ever since they began complying with the Solomon Amendment in the fall of 2002, HLS has been looking for the first chance to go back to its longstanding practice of keeping military recruiters off campus. They found their chance with the Third Circuit’s ruling (that the Solomon Amendment is unconstitutional), the first decision by a federal circuit ruling on the Amendment’s constitutionality. What will HLS do if and when each of the other federal circuits rules on the Amendment? What if, say, the First Circuit (home to Massachusetts) upholds the Amendment? Will Harvard then go back to allowing the military on campus? The constitutionality of the Amendment will inevitably be ruled upon by the Supreme Court, but Harvard just could not wait to reverse course. Because of a 2-1 judicial decision in Philadelphia, they have returned to their practice of keeping the military off campus in Cambridge, MA. Why not wait until the country’s highest court rules on the Amendment’s constitutionality (Such a ruling would be binding upon all of the federal circuits.)? Outside the Third Circuit, until the Supreme Court says otherwise, the Solomon Amendment is the law. If it wants to continue to receive federal funds, Harvard should adhere to the Solomon Amendment unless and until the law is stuck down by either the First Circuit or the Supreme Court. Since it has chosen not to do so, it should lose federal funding.
Drew Thornley, 3L